England Stay Alive in T20 World Cup with Rain-Hit Win Over Namibia

England's Harry Brook hits 4 during the ICC men's Twenty20 World Cup 2024 group B cricket match between Namibia and England at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda on June 15, 2024. (Photo: AFP)

Antigua and Barbuda (AFP) — Reigning champions England maintained their bid to reach the second round of the T20 World Cup with a 41-run victory in a must-win group game against Namibia in Antigua on Saturday.

Anything other than an England win would have seen Jos Buttler’s men knocked out and they were left fearing an early exit when rain delayed the scheduled start by three hours.

England, in a match eventually reduced from 11 to 10 overs per side by a fresh shower, collapsed to 13-2 after losing the toss.

But a stand of 56 between the Yorkshire duo of Harry Brook (47 not out off 20 balls) and Jonny Bairstow (31) helped take them to a total of 122-5.

Namibia were left with a target of 126 under the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method for rain-interrupted matches.

But they were never up with the required run-rate against England’s new-ball duo of Reece Topley (0-6 in two overs) and Jofra Archer (1-15), with the non-Test nation finishing on 84-3.

Victory took England level on points with Scotland in Group B but with a superior net run-rate.

– ‘Anxiety’ –
England, however, could still miss out on the Super Eights should Scotland achieve a stunning upset win over already-qualified Australia in the Group B finale in St Lucia later Saturday, or if that game ends in a no-result.

“There was a lot of anxiety, we didn’t think we’d get out there,” said Brook, the player of the match. “Thankfully the rain stopped.”

England captain Buttler, bowled for a duck, said: “It’s a big relief.

“It’s been a stressful day with the rain coming down, but I think we put in a really good performance.”

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